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Is an Ipad for me?

KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
As I'm sure many of you can relate, when a new gadget is released I get the urge to buy it. And the Ipad 2 is no exception.

To be fair I have been mulling over getting an Ipad/Tablet for some time, specially since I think such a machine would be awesome to have in my coming trip to Comic Con. I'm still debating getting one though.

I mainly use my 4 year old macbook for the usual web browsing/ watching videos/ fb, etc. Nothing huge, nothing very demanding, though I have noticed it starting to chug, and the battery life is dead on it. So I think an Ipad could replace it's main functions without me having to sacrifice much.

The main worry I have is typing on the thing. Usually I use my macbook on my bed, chair, both times it resting on my lap. I don't do hardcore typing but I do the usual messaging, blog comments and post and of course PA forum. How reliable is it to type on the thing in those postures?

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Posts

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    typing on it sort of sucks, but you can get an add-on keyboard. Other note - Youtube sucks on it, for some reason. I only get super-slow speeds on my GF's, as in if I start a 5 minute clip on the ipad, I can boot up the laptop and start watching it before the ipad is done loading.

  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    You can type ok with it in those positions without a keyboard, just don't expect to write any essays. Battery life is a solid 10+ hours in my experience.

  • ColdFireColdFire Registered User
    edited March 2011
    The software is very good on apple devices for typing =]

  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think trying it out at a store that has it on display would be a lot better than what we can say about it.

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  • aperlscriptaperlscript Registered User
    edited March 2011
    The Bluetooth keyboard that Apple sells, while pricey at $70, is my favorite portable keyboard ever. Hell, it's an amazing *desktop* keyboard too. There is some jackassery between various apps on your iPad that you might notice when you start sending arrow keys and stuff to the apps that don't handle them gracefully, but that's really an app-by-app thing.

    The BT keyboard (any BT keyboard) + iPad combo is extremely portable. Walk into an Apple store and give the keyboard a whirl.

    edit: powered by plain ol' AA batteries is also win

  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Do you have an ipod touch? Perhaps you should ask yourself if you'd like it better if it was 3x the size and twice the price.
    Spoiler:

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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The Bluetooth keyboard that Apple sells, while pricey at $70, is my favorite portable keyboard ever. Hell, it's an amazing *desktop* keyboard too. There is some jackassery between various apps on your iPad that you might notice when you start sending arrow keys and stuff to the apps that don't handle them gracefully, but that's really an app-by-app thing.

    The BT keyboard (any BT keyboard) + iPad combo is extremely portable. Walk into an Apple store and give the keyboard a whirl.

    edit: powered by plain ol' AA batteries is also win

    I thought that keyboard was horrible. Different strokes, I guess.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I got really excited about the first ipad, waited for my excitement to die down for two weeks, and still was excited so I bought one. I thought it was very cool, but never found a niche for it.

    I couldn't use it for work because of iffy citrix support and a lack of native Word/Excel support - if it had those things it would be awesome.

    I could use it for play, but the only advantage it had was that i could watch hulu in bed on a smaller screen. Beyond that I used it for crosswords and as an ereader. Ereading was iffy, crosswording was great - did not want to have spent $500 on a crossword/angry birds/sometimes hulu machine. What pushed me into selling it was how much nicer the ereading was on a kindle, so I sold the ipad and bought a kindle.

    The real advantage the ipad has is if you're a road warrior, and want to do light productivity stuff while on a plane, train or other confined space. For that it is infinitely better than a laptop. But for entertainment or education options you are infinitely better served by having a smart phone and a laptop.

    You would find typing or forum browsing fine, but trying to edit posts or quote people or whatever is maddening. If it's your only computer i'd get a new macbook; presumably you will need to get one anyway in the next 2 years or so when your macbook finally eats it.

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  • BloodfartBloodfart Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Do you have an ipod touch? Perhaps you should ask yourself if you'd like it better if it was 3x the size and twice the price.
    Spoiler:

    I have both and use them together all the time to do awesome things :P

    My ipod touch is for discreet gaming, taking photos and video, and music.

    Ipad is for more comfortable gaming, browsing, work documents, videos, and art applications. I have little problem with typing on the ipad.

    Together i can send the photos and video from the ipod touch to ipad via bluetooth. Often i send photos so i can trace them for art projects i use.

    Try and get past the "ipad is just a bigger ipod touch" idea. It reminds me of people scoffing at needing a cellular telephone.

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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Will it ever have Microsoft Office support?

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  • BloodfartBloodfart Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I export my Pages documents to PDF or Word formats.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Bloodfart wrote: »
    I export my Pages documents to PDF or Word formats.

    If you wanted to just commit words to paper like this that'd be fine. As someone who uses lots of documents with intricate formatting and otherwise rely on actual word functionality it didn't play well.

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  • billwillbillwill Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    kaliyama wrote: »
    I got really excited about the first ipad, waited for my excitement to die down for two weeks, and still was excited so I bought one. I thought it was very cool, but never found a niche for it.

    I couldn't use it for work because of iffy citrix support and a lack of native Word/Excel support - if it had those things it would be awesome.

    I could use it for play, but the only advantage it had was that i could watch hulu in bed on a smaller screen. Beyond that I used it for crosswords and as an ereader. Ereading was iffy, crosswording was great - did not want to have spent $500 on a crossword/angry birds/sometimes hulu machine. What pushed me into selling it was how much nicer the ereading was on a kindle, so I sold the ipad and bought a kindle.

    The real advantage the ipad has is if you're a road warrior, and want to do light productivity stuff while on a plane, train or other confined space. For that it is infinitely better than a laptop. But for entertainment or education options you are infinitely better served by having a smart phone and a laptop.

    You would find typing or forum browsing fine, but trying to edit posts or quote people or whatever is maddening. If it's your only computer i'd get a new macbook; presumably you will need to get one anyway in the next 2 years or so when your macbook finally eats it.

    Yeah, and plus, can't you do crosswords on the Kindle, too? (I'm not entirely sure on this).

    The only thing I would add is that the iPad is great if you're a university student. I don't live on campus, and sometimes I'm stuck there for hours, so having something light and portable yet still relatively able is great for me.

    EDIT: And whoever said the iPad is great for drawing is absolutely correct. It's amazing, I sketch almost all the time time now.

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  • BloodfartBloodfart Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Best art apps are SketchBook Pro for quality drawing with loads of tools, and We Doodle for playing many quick drawing sessions that power up your drawing skill level exponentially fast.

    I teach English kindergarten in China and make my lesson plans look super slick and detailed with my iPad in Pages. I draw custom art and insert it effortlessly wherever i want in the document to give it something extra.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    From what i've seen and heard, the Ipad is really the only thing of its type out on the market right now. If you're expecting the equivalent of a touch-screen laptop you are going to be severely disappointed, but if you don't need something so demanding it may be worth a shot. It's stuck in limbo between being better than a Touch and a laptop, leaning more towards the former.

    All the apps and programs available for it seem to be bare-bones applications of programs you'd much rather be using. For example, you can draw with it or type up word documents, but both of those are going to fall extremely short of things like Photshop, Corel Painter and others. They could have really revolutionized the entire computer industry with this one and potentially made billions, but it seems like they took it into another route that's not as practical or useful. It's more like an expensive tech demo with a few added features that might be beneficial if you didn't already own a PC of your own.


    I say wait it out. I have faith that an Ipad or products similar will eventually come to replace a laptop given the right direction and drive, but we probably won't see something like that for a long time.

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  • DoraBDoraB Registered User
    edited March 2011
    My boss got me an iPad for this past Christmas. It's never going to replace any of my family's other devices (between my husband and I, two smart phones, two desktop PCs, and a laptop), but we use it more than we thought we would. Reading eBooks on it via the Kindle app or surfing your favourite websites at the airport/hotel or watching Netflix in bed without having to fuss with the angle of the laptop screen... it's surprisingly handy. It's good for those "Who was that one chick in that one movie" type moments, or just idly surfing/playing with apps while you're watching TV. The screen is big and clear, and the picture quality is very good. Ours is just a WiFi model, and we've never had an issue with connection speed. Battery life is solid, at least for our usage, and it recharges like lightning.

    I'm a freelance writer, and I will say that I don't actually use the iPad to write. I haven't see a keyboard for it with sufficient reviews to entice me to bite at the price they want for them, so the default is the onscreen keypad which is... eh. I apparently type too quickly for it, so it doesn't always register letters, and I have to make a conscious effort to slow myself down. (Also a minor annoyance; auto-complete/correct. Could not turn that shit off fast enough.) Again, a keyboard would probably fix that, but right now that's another 70.00 expense I'm not inclined to shell out for. Currently, I have a cheap case (this one: http://www.amazon.com/Acase-Leather-Jacket-folio-Tablet/dp/B003K0E6BG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1299965699&sr=8-4) that lets me prop it up in my lap or on my stomach if I'm in bed... works reasonably well.

    We probably would never have bought it for ourselves, and if an anvil were to drop on it tomorrow I wouldn't rush right out and buy a replacement, but we like having it. I can't think of anyone who would actually NEED one, but I guess if you have the disposable income to spend on one, it makes a nice bonus edition for the household. Ultimately, don't break the bank for it, but I can't really think of a good argument against it either. Bear in mind, though, that an iPad with 3G as opposed to the cheaper WiFi model is going to keep costing you money in the long run, so unless you're planning on always being somewhere you HAVE WiFi when you want to use the iPad, you may be looking at an expensive data plan.

    As others have said, try one out in the store. Based on the sort of things you use your Macbook for it does sound like it might be a fairly competent replacement (not having used a Macbook I can't speak about it), but yeah... you'll never know about the keyboard unless you try it for yourself. Most places that sell them have them up to try out.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I like to write. It's one of my things.

    I have an iPad v1. While it just doesn't compare to a real keyboard, it's not bad either. I think it's good for writing. In fact, I find Apple's predictive text bullshit much more troublesome than the virtual keyboard.

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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    the only time i've really appreciated an ipad being around was when i'd meet up with a group of friends outdoors in the city, and one of them always brought his 3G iPad. So people plus being outdoors can make apps like Baby Scratch (sample a recording and scratch with it) and pretty much any game that records high scores become social technology. and internet access on a proper screen instead of a phone was also a blessing,

    when my dad bought one though, it was just a shiny toy at home. cool but useless.

    unless you need an e-reader, iPhone 4 is so much better than the iPad.

  • billwillbillwill Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Sam wrote: »
    the only time i've really appreciated an ipad being around was when i'd meet up with a group of friends outdoors in the city, and one of them always brought his 3G iPad. So people plus being outdoors can make apps like Baby Scratch (sample a recording and scratch with it) and pretty much any game that records high scores become social technology. and internet access on a proper screen instead of a phone was also a blessing,

    when my dad bought one though, it was just a shiny toy at home. cool but useless.

    unless you need an e-reader, iPhone 4 is so much better than the iPad.

    i could understand saying that the iPhone 4 is similar to the iPad (which i would actually disagree with), but what makes you say it's "so much better"? i would argue the iPad is better for internet browsing, watching movies, reading (as you said), etcetc, simply because it has a substantially larger screen.

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  • Jake!Jake! Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    You want a lorry? Do you have a car? Perhaps you should ask yourself if you'd like it better if it was 3x the size and twice the price.

    See what I did there? Physical size is not a trivial feature. It can enable two very similar things to do wildly different tasks.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Sam wrote: »
    unless you need an e-reader, iPhone 4 is so much better than the iPad.

    And if you need an eReader, then buy one rather than an iPad.

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  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I dunno what this thread is getting into, but I'll share my own iPad experience: I was a CS major, now I'm a web developer. I'm an internet junkie, PC gamer, social media slut; all that good stuff. Computers is what I do.

    When I got my iPad I had a 20" iMac with an extra 19" screen. It fit perfectly; it sits next to me and I use it constantly. I bring it to friend's housing and gaming groups to fiddle with, look up rules, run timers, and so on. At my job I have a desktop with two monitors. The iPad sits in front of me and holds reference manuals and distractions when I need to hide from brain-eating (software) bugs.

    When I bought a smartphone I thought it might eliminate my interest in bringing the iPad places, which was fine as it was still a great laptop. But no. It has such a mobile form factor and convenience of use that the effort of carrying it around is outweighed by the value of having access to anything I would need (including a connection to my desktop computer) a few seconds away.

    The final test for it will be when my iMac keels over (it's going on five years) and I replace it with a MacBook + external monitor. However, I suspect that, again, the difference in convenience -- unplugging a bunch of cords, packing away accessories, and putting it in a bulky case to transport, then reversing the whole process anywhere I want to use it, all for a bit extra power and ability -- will cause me to choose the iPad for anything less than a multi-day outing.

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  • AmiguAmigu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The ipad is fun. It's not an alternative to a laptop as far as serious work goes but it's great for lurking the net and playing games. My family has one, it sees a lot of use between the 3 of them. It's pretty much what you see is what you get, a portable touch screen that gives you access to the net and all the apps that teh iphone offers. In saying that I think it's extremely over priced at this point in time.

  • MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Amigu wrote: »
    The ipad is fun. It's not an alternative to a laptop as far as serious work goes but it's great for lurking the net and playing games. My family has one, it sees a lot of use between the 3 of them. It's pretty much what you see is what you get, a portable touch screen that gives you access to the net and all the apps that teh iphone offers. In saying that I think it's extremely over priced at this point in time.

    The unsubsidized 16GB iPad+3G is only $30 more than an unsubsidized iPhone 4, which retails for $599.

    The equivalent model is also cheaper than the Motorola Xoom, and (as of the iPad 2's release), has more powerful hardware.

    It may cost more than you think you want to pay for a tablet computer, but the base iPad is the cheapest offering on the market right now. This is one time when the "Apple Tax" not only doesn't exist -- it's the best deal around.

  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Monoxide wrote: »
    Amigu wrote: »
    The ipad is fun. It's not an alternative to a laptop as far as serious work goes but it's great for lurking the net and playing games. My family has one, it sees a lot of use between the 3 of them. It's pretty much what you see is what you get, a portable touch screen that gives you access to the net and all the apps that teh iphone offers. In saying that I think it's extremely over priced at this point in time.

    The unsubsidized 16GB iPad+3G is only $30 more than an unsubsidized iPhone 4, which retails for $599.

    The equivalent model is also cheaper than the Motorola Xoom, and (as of the iPad 2's release), has more powerful hardware.

    It may cost more than you think you want to pay for a tablet computer, but the base iPad is the cheapest offering on the market right now. This is one time when the "Apple Tax" not only doesn't exist -- it's the best deal around.

    That's not really true, the xoom is still beating the ipad 2 in the majority of straight cpu benchmarks, and it has more ram, whereas the ipad 2 has a better gpu. I'd still go with an ipad 2 because android isn't nearly there as a tablet OS yet imo, but i'd give the xoom the hardware edge

    as to the OP, personally I love my ipad, but I find it completely useless to actually work/be productive on much as everyone else has said.

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  • ben0207ben0207 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Well, from my experiences, the iPad has completely changed how I use my computers.

    I work in IT as the only Mac Support guy in an office of 75, so my work machines are a 13" MBP and a full bastard Mac Pro with a 20" display. My home machine is a kitted 17" MBP.

    At work? Nothing has changed dramatically, to be honest. I generally use my MBP, though the iPad gets a lot of use in meetings for taking notes / sharing sketches / looking up docs. I also like to take a break every now and then, and having the best Twitter client ever available while sitting on the grass outside is amazing. I also use it a lot for my todo lists / calendar (the Exchange integration is just incredible, and 2Do syncs perfectly between iPad and iPhone). Although it gets a lot of use, I'm not really sure it's doing anything I couldn't do before on my iPhone / Mac. Airplay functionality in Keynote might change that though.

    At home though, it has changed everything. My Mac is now only really there for hosting my music library / a Spotify client / BitTorrent. When I replace it, it'll probably be with a headless Mac Mini. Watching TV shows, playing games, skimming RSS, dealing with email, looking up recipes, renting films, ordering pizza, porn - the list of things it does seems to be endless. If I spend a day at home it's unlikely I won't need to recharge it by the end of the evening. It's just managed, in less than a year, to slip perfectly into my actual life and improve things massively.

    On a larger scale, I can in all honesty say that if we're not all using iPads or ipad-like devices as our main computers within 5 years I will eat my cock.

  • rockmonkeyrockmonkey Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    long rambling with backstory to give perspective:

    My household consists on My wife, an almost 2 yr old toddler, and myself. I'm the most knowledgable IT person I personally know as is the case with everyone in my extended family. I was a Comp Sci major at first in college, ended up making my business minor an accounting major. I did ISD IT work in college, and part of my job description since college at my current job is the onsite IT admin for our three offices in this state. I previously have always ONLY had 1 to 2 desktops at home, one of which is typically a gaming beast, along with a smartphone (currently the original motorola droid).
    We went from no tablet (no notebook/netbook/ereader either) to having two ipad 2s on Friday.
    Maybe the "newness" will wear off, but I have the feeling just the oposite will occur as we settle into using them for more and more things we already do otherwise, such as reading books. Yesterday (Sunday) the wife and I were both down from a full charge when we woke up to 15% and 17% last night before we decided to plug up and continued to use our ipads.

    Now granted a lot of that was our toddler would hop on hers or mine and color or follow a read along book or play animal sounds or learning her numbers. But between the 3 of us we wore the things down. We both read A LOT so as we finish the stockpile of already purchased physical books we plan on making the switch to ebooks on our ipads which is great because we both read 90% of the same books and we can still buy one copy in the kindle app and then can actually read the books at the same time instead of waiting for the other to finish.
    The only downside being that we do buy used books from time to time which are by far the cheapest option, and we have two exisitng memberships that are current and we'd like to continue to use (one at the local used books store tied to the main library).

    So with only owning currently 1 desktop and being heavy tech users we've found the ipads to fill several gaps. My wife has been wanting me to hook up one of our old desktops we retired or get a notebook because I'll be on the desktop and she'll want to hop on too but cant. The most we do is browse, forum post, she social networks, read news, play some games.
    Now with the ipad that's solved, and I can stay in the living room so we're still around each other instead of lurking off to lock myself up in the office each night.
    I'll still game on the desktop, but I'm also already caught up in a game or two on the new ipad (infinity blade for one).

    Seems like car trips or airport waiting with an ipad will be much better, even if we did have a laptop the ipad is easier to whip out, no battery worries, easier to handle while using, and easier to stow. Especially helping keep the kiddo pacified while waiting.
    It's a good way to tote around movies and watch them at someone elses place since I have a 64GB model. Rip the dvd and encode it then use an hdmi cable to play it back on the HD TV (haven't attempted yet).



    With all of that said not everyone has a need for one. It doesn't replace a laptop for everyone, but a lot of people have laptops for reasons that an ipad CAN replace.

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  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I really enjoy using my iPad for web browsing, the occasional game, and watching movies on netflix. While it's made doing all those things more convenient and fun, it hasn't replaced the other functions that my PC and iPhone 3GS provide. If I had to chose between replacing either because they weren't doing what I needed and an iPad, I would not chose the iPad.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Edited out - I'm not entirely sure how this thread wound up getting my attention. I feel like it was on the front page...

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  • Mr.RitzMr.Ritz Registered User
    I think until we have a tablet with great stylus like the MS courier was suppose to be they are fairly worthless. I have an HP Touchpad that I put ICS on WebOS and Ubuntu Linux. Its overclocked and snappy too.. Being an IT student the only thing I use it for is to read release notes and such as I work.

This discussion has been closed.